LensCrafters v. Bachmann
April 13th, 2011
11:55 AM ET
7 years ago

LensCrafters v. Bachmann

Washington (CNN) - The optics don't look great for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. That is, if you're talking about her relationship with LensCrafters, the one-stop shop of eye care and eyewear.

The possible GOP presidential candidate supported her belief that Planned Parenthood should lose its government funding by telling a crowd in Iowa on Monday, "The executive director of Planned Parenthood in Illinois said they want to become the LensCrafter of big abortion in Illinois."

And it's not the first time Bachmann made the comparison. She made the same claim as early as September of 2008 and has stated that the comparison first came from a Planned Parenthood director in Illinois.

But what Steve Trombley, CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois, actually said is different than Bachmann's interpretation. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in June 2008, he stated, "I like to think of Planned Parenthood as the LensCrafters of family planning," while speaking of making family planning services more accessible.

Bachmann has been substituting the phrase "big abortion" for "family planning," but the eye care company has asked that she leave them out of her scuffle altogether.

LensCrafters hit back at Bachmann Tuesday, telling Roll Call, "She's using our name without our knowledge or permission." Julie Maslov, communications director for Luxottica Retail, the parent company for LensCrafters, said the company contacted Bachmann's office Tuesday and asked that she stop making the comparison.

Planned Parenthood also released a statement saying, "The continued misleading attacks on Planned Parenthood expose a cynical and coldhearted willingness to further a divisive political agenda even if it will deny women access to lifesaving cancer screenings and birth control."

A Bachmann spokesman confirmed that the three-term congresswoman would avoid using the company's name in the future.

LensCrafters has not responded to CNN's request for comment.

Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • Planned Parenthood
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. dandelion

    the great thing is the pro lifers are real worried about babies... until they are born, then its "Why shoudl I pay for your childs edication, or healthcare, or food" so its ok if a kid starves to death or cannot see a doctor, but a grown woman cannot decide what to do with her own body. Yup, soulds like a republican stance to me (i.e. makes no sense what so ever)

    April 13, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. lisaspups

    Richard T. Abortiions are a very small percentage of the services offerred by Planned Parenthood. They are also capable of separating funds to be utilized for specific purposes. Planned Parenthood offers a multitude of services. I have had to use their services in the past, and they were a real blessing to me during a difficult time in my life.

    I personally think the male opinion is irrelevant but that is just me.

    April 13, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. Linton

    Bill sez: "So why isnt LensCrafter saying the same thing to Steve Trombley? Bachmann is only repeating what someone else has said which is stated in the article."

    Hey Bill – they did NOT say the same thing – read the article again – this time for comprehension. (Look up the word if you don't know what it means.)

    You Tea Baggers read only what you want to see – not what the facts are – that is why your little party is losing it's credibility and its following.......and soon to be in the garbage bin with all the other fringe parties based on bigotry and hatred.

    April 13, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    And this genius wants to be President.

    April 13, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Thank God I am a Democrat

    @Bill, no Bachman is not simply stating what someone else is saying. She put her own little personal spin on it that makes it purposely worse than the original comment and in turn associated LensCrafters to the wrong and worse version of the statement. Did you read the whole article?

    April 13, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. aTeaClown

    She's gone beyond hyperbole and innuendo to outright lies. Millions of women have been saved from cancer and other diseases by Planned Parenthood. It's ironic for a woman to dismiss these services. Client-paid abortions are only a small fraction of what is provided.

    April 13, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Bachmann is clearly blind, deaf, and dumb!

    April 13, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Dean

    Now that we have Obamacare why do we need planned panenthood to provide medical services to women?

    April 13, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    @Bob in PA
    We remember similes and metaphors, but who wants to be aligned with what someone thinks is the evil of the universe?
    It's like saying WalMart wants to be the Bloomingdales of trailer parks. It might be true, but Bloomies would take offense.

    April 13, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Steven Bannister

    So let's get this straight – it was the DIRECTOR of Planned Parenthood who first started using LensCrafter's name. And yet LensCrafters is mad at Michelle Bachman? Why not be mad at Planned Parenthood too? What a double standard!

    April 13, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Linton

    Doug – it's not nice to lie. No pro-choice person spews the crap you did. Sorry, the only people you've fooled are the other folls such as yourself – posing as pro-choice and then basically repeating the anti-choice mantra doesn't fool intelligent people. (It wsn't even a good try!)

    April 13, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Bob, Virginia

    To Doug: Do you really think anyone believes you're pro-choice? LOL what a maroon.

    To Bill: Because Bachmann didn't "repeat" what Trombley said. She CHANGED it. Duh. What a maroon x2.

    April 13, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Carol

    Eric – the sentence IS grammatically correct – NEITHER HAS responded.

    April 13, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Darryl Schmitz

    Ah, here we are again in another presidential cycle... and already the major media is paying big time attention to 1) corrupt establishment politicians and 2) empty shell flamboyant but unprincipled politicians. And whenever a wacky sideshow story like this one can be written, even better. The statesmen and women who actually have meaningful dialogue to offer in the debate toward problem-solving our current crises don't stand a chance. We are screwed.

    April 13, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Joshua Ludd

    As usual, Bachmann never met a falsehood she found on the internet that she wouldn't repeat as gospel truth or an actual fact that she wouldn't misconstrue into falsehood.

    April 13, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Dirk

    Because, Bill, she's NOT saying the same thing as the head of PP is saying. Read the article again. Slowly. See what she's changing, and even you can probably figure out what the difference is.

    April 13, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Jen

    Why don't any of you Republcians, tea ballers, whatever you're calling yourselves these days – why don't you attack the rich for getting double dip tax cuts? Why don't any of you attack the multi national corporations who pay 0 federal taxes, use our Country to export their goods, AND receive $billions in IRS refunds which is your tax dollars at work?


    Not one of you tea baggers has ever been able to answer these questions with any intelligence. You just blame, and name call and spread your hatred and lies. But guess what? YOu're all getting voted out next cycle. We don't need these few far right wing fanatics holding the rest of the country hostage for their suppressive ideas.

    April 13, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Anne P.

    All whiners crying about abortions or planned parenthood in general think about this: If the fetus is so important to you, why aren't the viable children who were unfortunately born to parents who can't afford to care for them as important? The message you send is "no abortions or planned parenthood" but we don't want to fund the services that pay for the unwanted, uncared for children later. Most end up on welfare at some point, or in trouble. Who pays then? How do you morally connect those dots? Please leave your religious BS out of my personal decisions; they are none of your business. For the umpteenth time, Fed. tax money does not pay for abortions! You're too numb and brainwashed to even get that through your thick, Fox-infused skulls. You would prefer parenthood be unplanned, that's your perogative, so go forth and breed, but shut the hell up if someone else prefers to plan for children or not. Cutting funding for healthcare for woman is not very Christian, now is it?

    April 13, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Brook

    Why does Michele Bachmann hate family planning? I wonder how many unwanted babies she's taken into her home? Maybe she'd have better luck with her Taliban style politics in Pakistan. She'd look good in a burqua.

    April 13, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Tom Legare

    Planned Parenthood only provides abortion services totaling about 3% of their business. The lieing Republicans keep citing them as abortion providers when in reality they are providing Women's Healt Care sevices. What is their plan for Women"s healthcare?? None I suppose. The same thing they propose for everything else!!

    April 13, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. The King of Scotland

    Michelle Bachmann is a hero and an American success story. She is also a role-model for women. She shouldn't be harrassed for calling Planned Parenthood what they are. There is no way to differentiate where Federal funds go - any money from taxpayers frees up other money to be funnelled to fund the abortion of children.

    April 13, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Howard

    The majority of what Michelle Bachman says is totally off the wall and wrong!! This woman has a history of distortions total misinformation and flat out lies!
    I really hope that the people that listen to this imbecile will take her with a grain of salt and not believe any of her total falsehoods!
    She is nothing less then a

    April 13, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. blf83

    Even with new lenses from LensCrafters, Michele Bachman would not be able to see correctly. Seeing requires an intelligent brain to make sense of what is seen.

    April 13, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. Howard

    Michelle Bachman totally distorts and mistates everything.
    She practices TABLOID POLITICS!! Her statements are geared totally to shock value with no credible facts!
    She remind me of Sarah Palin–An attractive woman who says absolutely nothing!!!

    April 13, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. Marry

    Ms. Bachman is just such a nasty, stupid person. She should be ashamed!

    April 13, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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